By Eromosele Abiodun
The Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL), an indigenous logistic service organisation, has commenced strategic partnership with multiple Norwegian companies towards oil and gas business development in the country.
The plan was revealed in Lagos when a delegation of the Nigerian/Norwegian Chamber of Commerce (NNCC), visited the LADOL base.
The team was received by the Executive Director of LADOL, Mr. Jide Jadesimi, who conducted them round the base where LADOL is currently playing host as the local content partner to Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) in the fabrication of a $3.8 billion oil platform.
Jide, who represented the Managing Director, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, said the base was developed as a Greenfield swamp by indigenous players about a decade ago, and that over a $104 million dollars had been invested even before the company got its first contract.
According to him, the base is unique in its mode of operations in it strives to save capital flight, minimize delivery time that usually inhibit such projects when handled abroad, as well as its drive to increase efficiency in the system.
He said the company has been able to effectively manage the success story of its operations considering its location which guarantees industrial peace as against the worrisome security challenges at the Niger Delta region of the country.
Assuring the visiting team of the readiness of the base to do business with the Norwegian companies, Jadesimi said the base is well fortified with all necessary government agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service, Immigration Services, the Nigerian Navy, Ports Authority officials and a host of others who oversee due diligence in its operations.
“I can assure you that the future here is bright for direct foreign investments(DFI), even though we have a few challenges which borders on bureaucracy and red tape, but these are issues that government is vigorously addressing” he said.
Responding, head of the Norwegian team, Dr. Gulbrand Wangen, said the Chamber was representing over 200 Norwegian oil and gas companies that were desirous of partnering with Nigerian companies for business development.
He called on the National Assembly to urgently pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) so as to attract Norwegian companies investment in oil and gas.
Expressing delight at the operations in LADOL, he said the companies under his group were focused on oil and gas business development in five major countries of the world in which Nigeria is one of them.
“To do this successfully, we are working with the Nigerian/Norwegian Chamber of Commerce which was established in May this year. We are here because we have heard about LADOL and I must say we are impressed by what we have seen.
“We are confident that we could open a lot of companies here as what we have seen will enable us to properly advise those companies back home as to what is going on here,” he said.
He, however, noted that government needs to encourage the quick passage of the PIB, in order to encourage investors who will be adequately guided by the terms of engaging in such businesses in the country.
According to him, with companies such as LADOL, there was no doubting the capability of Nigeria to play the role of West African hub in oil and gas operations, if only government would demonstrate its readiness to make the industry more transparent with the enactment of the necessary legislature.
Also speaking, Chairman of the NNCC, Chijioke Igwe, noted that the establishment of the Chamber earlier in the year was informed partly by the need to attract foreign investors into the Nigerian Oil and gas industry in order to secure the nation’s hub status in the sub region.
According to him, “there is the need to bring these two countries together in building the industry. Norway has built an impressive track record in the oil and gas sector…and the two countries bear a lot of similarities.
“We have a population of about 170 million people while Norway has five million people which are the major difference in the two countries. However, there is a lot of opportunities for Nigerian and Norwegian companies to collaborate if the enabling environment is there.
“We are determined to foster this enabling environment through dialogue, and engagement with the relevant organs of the national Assembly on the need to pass the PIB. The opportunity that exists in having the Norwegian companies doing business in the oil and gas industry is huge and will be beneficial to both countries,” he added.